Tues April 27
1852 Mr Scott & Holbrook have painted the
cook room worked all the forenoon getting
it ready and this afternoon in the garden
The gardener came up from the shop and
set out the currant bushes farther from
the brook and some Honeysuckle from Mr Swain
and Lakes Rachel came to Edwins I called to
see her and carried Augusta some plants.
Evelina shuttled around the house and grounds today, keeping track of indoor painting and outdoor gardening and, most likely, everything in between. A gardener arrived on assignment from the shovel factory to plant some honeysuckle bushes that Evelina had acquired from two obliging neighbors, the Swains and the Lakes. The gardener also help her move some currant bushes back from Queset River, the little brook behind the Ames property.
The Queset, which historian William Chaffin found to be “a pleasant-sounding name,”* is only the most recent name for the stream that runs from north to south through Easton. It was first identified by that name around 1825. In earlier days it was known as the Mill River, and, before then, the portion particular to North Easton was called Trout Hole Brook. One would have to go back to the early 18th century, before water privileges had been claimed and dams built, to find trout in the stream.
The waterways of Easton have frequently changed over the years, as needs have altered and other sources of power been identified. In 1852, water power was still essential to the shovel shops, and many dams – including the one that had almost breeched the dam during the heavy rainstorm of the previous week – were depended upon to produce the water flow needed to keep the factory going – and the currant bushes growing.
* William L. Chaffin, History of Easton, Massachusetts, 1886, pp. 10 – 11.
**Douglas Watts, at losteaston.blogspot.com, is a conservation writer who would like to turn the Queset back into an active trout stream.